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Yuletide Teamwork

Winter time team work

Twenty four Waterway Recovery Group Volunteers (wrgies) have been working alongside Cotswold Canals Trust Volunteers on the picturesque frost coated Cotswold Canals over the Yuletide season.

Multi work sites

The wrgies have been working at Bowbridge, Ham Mill and Siccaridge. Mike Gallagher’s pictures show the teams hard at work at Ham Mill Lock.

Seasonal lighting

The lock has been fitted with scaffold work decks and a corrugated iron roof and the sides have been sheathed in wind proof sheeting. Festoon lighting down in the lock chamber provides an appropriately seasonal look.

The group are seen removing defective brick work in readiness for renewal of the lock walls. The bricks are removed carefully in order that they may be reused when the walls are rebuilt. One particular section has called for the almost surgical process of removing brickwork to allow the extrication of a tree stump that has grown through the wall.

Reclaim & re-use

Whole bricks are cleaned and stacked on site whilst rubble and broken bricks are removed to Brimscombe Port in two tonne trailer loads. Ten tonnes had already been relocated by lunchtime on Monday 29th whilst the stack of re-useable bricks grew steadily.

Diverse backgrounds & origins

As ever this wrgie team consists of a diverse group of people from as far afield as Warwickshire, Essex, Devon, Lancashire, London, Bristol, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

Backgrounds and day jobs are similarly widespread… Three people were engaged upon their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme projects, an anaesthetist worked alongside a journalist whilst a qualified civil engineer cleaned bricks in company with a student studying philosophy and history.

Click on the images to view larger versions


Click here to view Mike Gallagher's Ham Mill Album

Energy & determination

Cotswold Canals Trust Team Leader Les Morris commented on the group’s energy and determination.

Wrgie work camp leader Martin Thompson agreed and explained, “It is a great atmosphere here working alongside the CCT people. Their enthusiasm and determination really is infectious; it certainly seems to enthuse the local people who are using the towpath through the site. One of us has to deal with all the questions they ask"

Come and have some exercise with a purpose

Les went on to say, “We shall be working three days a week… Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5th January. Anyone interested in some exercise can just turn up here and join in.” Les’s CCT colleague Martin Gray added… “Everyone gets a full safety briefing and has the project explained in full so they will know what they will be doing”

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